|Budget Troubles Lead to Changes at Zoning, Planning|
|Facing a roughly $470 million budget shortfall, the City of Chicago has decided to merge several departments, shedding around 240 positions and saving about $5 million. Among those departments affected by the reshuffle are the Zoning, Planning, Environment and Housing.
The new Zoning and Land Use Planning Division will bring the land use portion of the Planning Department and the Environment Department's property screening function into the Zoning Department. The new department will develop and review zoning regulations and amendments, plan open space, oversee green building and sustainable development and evaluate planned developments, among other duties.
The remaining portion of the Planning Department, most of the Housing Department and the business side of the Mayor's Office of Workforce Development will merge into a new Department of Community Development. This consolidation is intended to streamline the city's economic, housing and community development functions, whether affordable housing, retail or a combination.
The new departments are planned to be up and running by January 1st, 2009.